Monday, February 1, 2010

Singapore. What! Thaipusam milks donations!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It should not be a surprise to see the quality of English writing in Singapore's official state controlled newspapers declining. What else could anyone expect of a state controlled organization that churns out propaganda on a daily basis as does Singapore's Straits Times, whose media has the dubious distinction of being only slightly freer than that of North Korea. According to the the freedom monitor Reporters Without Borders, Singapore is 133rd down the list of countries for having no press freedom.

Naturally no self respecting journalist worth his salt would want to be seen within a mile of it. What they get are men such as this whose English is no better than a sixth grader's; and mind you, many sixth graders today can write better than this.

Take this example. The Straits Times of Jan 31, 2010 has the article "Thaipusam milks donations". Thaipusam, by the way, is a Hindu religious observance where among other rituals in the temple, milk is poured over the statutes of their Gods as a form of thanksgiving.

But no one who knew any English let alone a newspaper journalist would have described it as "Thaipususm milks donations". Reading this, my first impression was something sinister; I thought the temple had run away with the Hindu's charitable donations, because that is what it would normally mean! To "milk" someone means to dishonestly take his property, usually over a period of time. To "milk donations" is even worse; strongly implying that the temple had misappropriated donations from worshippers!

Only upon further reading does one discover there was no wrong doing wahtsoever. Thaipusam has not "milked" anyone. All that has happened was Hindus pouring milk over the statutes of their Gods, as they have always done.

I am a lawyer not a journalist. And being so, I would have expected someone whose job it is to write professionally, to do a better job than myself. But, the reports of Reporter's Without Borders on Singapore has begun to take it's toll after all. What is left are journalists such as this who write "Thaipusam milks donations!"

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

lol i no longer read some of the newspapers because it they are full of crappy english that it is pathetic.

note i said "some of the newspapers" and did not mention any names so that i wouldn't get sued for libel and be bankrupted. in singapore is like living in the matrix. lots of traps and potholes to avoid.

a lot of singaporeans have fallen for these traps and have gone to prison.

singapore has the fifth highest incaseration rate per capita in the world a few years ago!

singapore also has the highest number of execution per capita in the world!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. I admit at first I also thought it was something serious.