From: Law Sin Ling
29 June 2008
Singapore Press – Rushing To Infernal Self-Condemnation
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sg_Review/message/4770
It was not pleasant news for Sunday, or any day. A life was lost through yet-to-be-determined circumstance. Murder was insinuated by the newspaper. The reporter was not obliged to sanctify the incident. He opted instead to let loose a devilish instinct from a more primordial period of human civilisation. He opted to bestialise his upbringing.
Browse the literature freely (reproduced below) and one will inevitably experience an uneasy sense of literate discontinuity, like a crudely constructed out-of-place road-hump on the evenly-tarred surface of the information expressway, or a pernicious chasm in the civil humanity continuum.
Consider the indisputable factual morsels:
(a) The stabbing did not concern Mr. Tan Lead Shake in the first person. He was neither the proven culprit nor the victim.
(b) His shod preference for slipper was of no concern to the case even by the wildest imagination.
(c) His defeats and that of his father in past General Elections were of no relation to the case.
(d) No photograph of a single adult member of the affected family was featured, with the exception of that of Tan’s in an impassive pose. Has he been adjudged guilty by association? Did the paper commit prejudgement?
So who is Tan Lead Shake? And why did the paper see it appropriate to print his derogatory nickname (“Slipper Man”) on the front page in a font size readable from 5 metres away? Why did the paper judge it sensible to devote 78 words and 3 paragraphs of readers’ precious weekend emphasising his status as an Opposition politician who had a history of losing in national elections? And mocking his retired father for similar failures was supposed to be the paper’s idea of relevant reporting and (cut the crap already) building a cohesive nation?
Be under no fairy-tale illusion. This is Singapore, a supposedly first-world democratic country where members of the Opposition are casually labelled, under the bestowed blessing from the ruling PAP government, such spectral descriptions as bicycle-thief, riff-raff, psychopath, and snake oil peddler; Verbal abuses one would not catch the PAP stalwarts shrugging off without launching into threats of lawsuits for libel against anyone who absent-mindedly tosses one in their direction.
The reporter, Aw Cheng Wei, is sans aucun doute guilty of making a despicable bias swipe at an Opposition politician during the latter’s moment of grief and emotional turmoil over a veritable domestic (read – Private) tragedy, guilty of an abominable absent of professional ethics, and guilty of a display of stupid and shameful anti-social disposition to diminish the values of another (especially when the subject is down) for the devious sake of fulfilling the haughtier need to satisfy and appease an esteem, be it that of his or that of his powerful protagonists.
And such was his haste to accomplish his pestiferous mission that he committed the most heinous sin of his profession – Getting a fundamental fact hopelessly wrong; Tan Lead Shake is NOT a member of the Singapore Democratic Alliance as the reporter had claimed he was.
It remains to be determined which of Aw’s peers, sharing his malevolent tendency, would rush to brazenly betray their thicket of putrid inner value. And it will be of immense interest to observe which other institutions (notably government agencies) would trade in their decency under the demands of a higher order.
If the same standard of journalistic sludge was applied to the stricken missus of Minister Mentor Lee (the chief of the PAP) dying under public resources from brain haemorrhage, readers would have been abundantly served sordid stories from Mrs. Lee’s family and the sparks of all their domestic contentions. But alas, the Fourth Estate is all too mindful of the source of their patronage.
Singapore’s national papers have undoubtedly descended into the moral realm of no-return in the course of near 50-years of strong-arm rule of the PAP government, whose obsession with subjugating free speech had effectively peeled away any last meaningful modicum of self-restraint and dignity within the mass media.
(Mr) Law Sin Ling
The offensive news report from the repulsive instrument of depraved moral is reproduced below. Get a copy of the paper and study the method of journalistic madness.
Sunday Times, June 29, 2008
Brother of ‘Slipper Man’ fatally stabbed
Sibling of opposition politician attacked in his home; woman arrested
By Aw Cheng Wei
An early morning family drama in Paya Lebar yesterday left an opposition politician’s younger brother dead and his sister-in-law critically injured.
Police later arrested a 26-year-old China-born woman in connection with the case.
Mr Tan Lead Sane, 34, the younger brother of Singapore Democratic Alliance member Tan Lead Shake, died from multiple stab wounds.
The victim’s China-born wife suffered neck injuries and was still in the intensive care unit of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital yesterday evening.
Mr Tan Lead Shake, 39, was given the moniker the ‘Slipper Man’ after he showed up on Nomination Day at the 1997 General Election wearing slippers. He contested the ward of Kampong Glam but lost.
In the 2001 General Election, he contested again, this time in Ayer Rajah, and also lost.
He is the son of opposition politician Tan Soo Phuan, 72, the former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, who also contested several general elections and lost.
Police said that, at about 6am yesterday, they received a call from a member of Mr Tan’s family asking for help.
They arrived at the double-storey bungalow in Paya Lebar Crescent to find Mr Tan Lead Sane lying unconscious on the floor of a bedroom. He was wearing only a pair of shorts and had stab wounds.
Mr Tan and his wife, who was also injured, were taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 7am.
According to several neighbours, at least 10 people were known to be living in the house: Mr Tan Lead Shake, his 26-year-old China-born wife, his mother, two of his brothers, his younger brother’s China-born wife and four children. Mr Tan Soo Phuan had apparently retired to China a couple of years ago.
One of their neighbours, a 23-year-old freelance writer who saw the couple being carried away on stretchers, said: ‘I heard a commotion at about 5.30am. It was hard to tell if the people who quarrelled were male or female.’
His bedroom faces the front porch of the Tans’ residence.
The neighbour added that he often heard the sound of quarrelling from the house and thus did not find the morning spat that unusual.
But he remembered hearing a voice calling, in Mandarin, for the other family members to remain calm. When he looked out of his bedroom window, he saw bloodstains on the Tans’ front porch, which was lit.
The bloodstains formed a trail at least 3m long. Police said that a bloodstained knife was found within the compound of the house.
A maid, whose kitchen faces the rear of the house, said she saw a woman running away from the house via a back lane.
The police went round the neighbourhood later to ask if residents had seen a slim-built woman with shoulder-length black hair.
One of the neighbours told The Sunday Times that the police also showed them a photocopied identification card belonging to the woman, who was from China and is now a Singapore permanent resident.
Mr Tan Lead Shake was seen coming out of the house and leaving with the police at 12.30pm. He declined to talk to reporters.
He came back with a child in hand about 15 minutes later. The wails of a child asking for his mother in Mandarin were heard from the house five minutes later.
Members of the family later took turns to leave the house and were ferried away by a waiting car.
Police said that the 26-year-old woman was arrested in Victoria Street at about 4pm yesterday.