Ladies and Gentlemen,
Reporters Without Borders, the internationally respected French monitor on freedom of newspapers worldwide has, as you know, placed Singapore's press nearly at the bottom of their list, for having almost no independence in reporting.
It was placed among countries such as North Korea, Sudan and Burma; all countries with a state controlled press just like Singapore, where information is tightly controlled and instead of news, you get propaganda.
I suspect, although the report didn't say so, it was also because of a pathetic lack of common sense. To explain this, look at these 2 articles that recently appeared in the online edition of their state controlled press, the Straits Times.
One was on August 08, 2009 with the title "Couple killed on train track" about a young man and a woman who were run over by a train and killed. Surely we all know that when you are run over by a train, you will very probably have extensive injuries. There is no need to have to say it, surely! Yet this article has the following "the Chinese boy's left leg was amputated and he suffered an open head wound and he suffered multiple fractures". "The girl had multiple fractures and her right leg was nearly severed at the knee".
Another article about the same incident appeared on August 10, 2009 in the same propaganda pages "Run over by train. Families friends mourn duo". This also carries reference to their injuries "19 year old's body which had multiple fractures an open head wound and a severed leg". "Her forehead and nose appeared bruised while earlier reports had said her right leg was nearly severed at the knee".
Other than describing these gory details, the 2 articles had something about their families attending the accident site and their funeral. Other than that there was nothing else!
After reading this you begin to wonder why they wrote the articles in the first place. And what was the need to write in detail about "severed limbs" and "open head wounds" etc. After all they were run over by a train! What did you expect after being run over by a train, minor scratches!
Reading these 2 articles, you begin to feel that not only these Singaporean newspaper reporters have no independence of expression, they also lack any common sense. If they were run over by a train, we all know the injuries would be serious; no doubt about it. There was no need to write about "open head wounds" and "severed limbs". We all know that. It must be quite obvious to anyone, that this must be a suicide since we all know that if you were in Bukit Timah Singapore, you would have heard the approaching train from as far away as neighbouring Malaysia! That's how loud the whistle is!
But here was nothing about why they killed themselves, and no other story whatsoever other than "open head wounds" and "amputated limbs" after being run over by a train!
Tell me, would you be still surprised why Singaporeans with any grey matter in their heads make a bee line to the airport permanently leaving for more sensible countries? You tell me that!
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