Monday, September 17, 2007

Rare Article in Newspaper on Opposition

In the weekend edition of the Today newspaper on 15 Sep 2007, there was this article titled "50 years on.. What keeps Workers' Party going?". When I read the headlines, I thought that it might be another article to highlight the strengths of the PAP and weaknesses of the opposition parties in general. But I was wrong. Although in the first paragraph the journalist praised the ruling party for creating an economic miracle, the following paragraphs totally caught me by surprise.

The rest of the paragraphs described the history of Workers’ Party throughout the short history of Singapore. Few items caught my eye:

The title -"50 years on.. What keeps Workers' Party going?" seem to suggest that the party is able to withstand the constant onslaught from the PAP and being 50-year old, it is a party which is wise, experienced and still popular among Singaporeans.

“One exception was the WP's call for a "caring society" in the 1980s, which offered Singaporeans an alternative policy.” and “But even this platform was somewhat usurped by the PAP Government when then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong took the reins in 1990 and unveiled a vision for a "gracious society". Isn’t this phrase suggesting that the ruling party ‘stole’ the Workers’ Party’s manifesto?

“That means working the ground — Mr Low reportedly attends as many funerals as he can in Hougang — and convincing the constituents that its members can do as good a job, if not better than, their PAP counterparts in running an estate and helping them solve their municipal problems through non-governmental means.” Why is the media giving the WP free advertisement, telling the public that WP is a party with ‘human touch’?

In my opinion, the media, on the government’s behalf, is probably trying to show to the world that Singapore is a true multi-party democracy and not entirely dominated by the PAP. This is probably due to the recent exclusion of Singapore from the Global Club of Democracies. Also, the timing of this article further confirmed my suspicion. As WP’s 50-year anniversary is still almost 2 months from now, why must the media publish this article now and not closer to their anniversary to make it even more relevant? Or is the media really going to be more balanced now?


Anonymous said...

Interesting points.

Do you think Singapore is a "true mulit-party democracy" or is it entirely dominated by the PAP?

SGDaily said...

Hi James,

You have been featured in The Singapore Daily. Thank you for your support!

The Singapore Daily Team