"Instead of a diatribe mr brown should offer constructive criticism and alternatives. And he should come out from behind his behind his pseudonym to defend his views openly." Quoted from Letter from K BHAVANI, Press Secretary to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts."
Dear readers, do not navigate away so fast for Molly is NOT going to flog dead, decayed, buried and reincarnated horses such as:
(1) why people who criticize must offer alternatives (except for those who call opposition members "cheats," "liars," etc) but not be paid the salaries of ministers,
(2) why people who criticize the government are not constructive (think Catherine Lim) whereas the people who write to the ST forum criticizing opposition parties never have the same accusations hurled at them, or
(3) why people must come out from behind their cloak of anonymity. (Yes, they finally got the idea that a pseudonym-user isn't anonymous, but pseudonymity is equally evil. Perhaps they also know far too well that the cloak of anonymity isn't an armor of anonymity for it doesn't protect anyone all that much given that there are high-tech intelligence departments around).
Instead, Molly just wishes to confess that that she is utterly lost and confused. How can mrbrown (author of this inflammatory, polemical article) whom everyone knows to be a certain Mr. Lee Kin Mun, who posts his photos online, who talks about his reservist stints come out from behind his pseudonym?
Apparently, mrbrown is hiding in the open.
(Darn, did he learn such a skill during his NS?)
As Molly isn't as enlightened as those who have attained Singaporean Nirvana (think of a certain Mr. de Souza for instance), she only knows that "mrbrown" is but a nickname of sorts, something like what one calls a friend (and, indeed, the name "mrbrown" comes from a nickname his friends know him by). I know his real name, but I prefer to call him mrbrown. Not that I'm a friend of his...
Not that Molly's knowledge of mrbrown's real name makes him any more open than ever... (How strange!)
But why the insinuation that the columnist/blogger/person is hiding behind something? He is making his views known openly (isn't an article in Today open enough?). And if he is being seditious, Molly will personally make a police report and ensure that he is put behind bars for the security of the
And if the media blesses mrbrown enough, he could defend his views openly too. What else is he supposed to do to prove his openness? Provide his IC number, address, office number, cell phone number, fax number, email, height, weight, girth
So Molly doesn't really get it. She knows more about mrbrown (or Mr. Lee, if you please) than about someone who goes by the name K Bhavani. Yet, Molly knows for a fact that the latter is somehow more open and transparent than the former. Molly is unable to explain why. It's really, really weird isn't it?
If there are any kind souls out there, please enlighten the confused Molly on the difference(s) between
(1) " K BHAVANI, Press Secretary to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts,"
(2) "Mr. K M Lee, Columnist for Today"
(3) "mr brown is the accidental author of a popular website that has been documenting the dysfunctional side of Singapore life since 1997. He enjoys having yet another cashcard, in addition to his un-contactless one and the ez-link one to add to his wallet."
I mean, obviously, (1) is open, responsible and credible but not (2) or (3).
And it also seems that (1) has the right to be political but not (2) or (3); in fact, when (2) or (3) becomes "political," we have a special adjective known as "partisan" for the sake of
Molly knows, but is unable to explain why (1) is good but (2) and (3) are bad. Maybe they forgot to teach it in National Education classes (in which case the NE syllabus needs to be seriously revised to educate naive peasants like Molly on the standards of openness and credibility).
What's more puzzling is the remark by Ms. Bhavani*
[*Thanks to Cobalt Paladin, Molly now knows that Bhavani should be a Ms.]
Looks like Molly has always been wrong! My, my, my! How could it NOT be the role of journalists to campaign FOR the government?
And what's the difference between a non-political observation and partisan politics?
Molly has always thought that it's non-political if I say that household incomes have gone up and it's partisan when one says that the income of the poor has gone down? But a friend (yes, unfortunately Molly has lots of friends) asked Molly why the first is an observation and why the second one is political. And Molly was stumped. It would be good if someone as open and enlightened as Mr. Bhavani could teach Molly how to reply her troublemaker of a friend.
Let Molly venture on a wild guess nevertheless. (Feel free to correct Molly if she's wrong for she's really ignorant):
I think the difference between a non-political observation and a partisan comment lies in the FACT that the partisan comment "undermine[s] the Government's standing with the electorate" (intentionally or unintentionally, I would add). In short, then, if you make an "observation" that makes people like the government (Government = PAP?)less, then you are being partisan.
(It's a strange thing though, isn't it, when politicians tell you that being political is bad. What a world we live in!)
But if you are making a comment that makes the people like the government a bit more, I can't say that you "undermine" the government's standing with the electorate and hence you will not be considered partisan. But, still, you are not suppose to campaign for the government. Ah... how confusing...
Anyway, let's get to the real issues and allow Molly to defend some views. While all other bloggers hide behind their Prada cloak of anonymity, Molly is by far the most responsible blogger around by virtue of her position as a seriously non-political observer who does NOT undermine the government's standing with the electorate. In fact, she probably "overmines" the government's standing, if there's such a word...
The real issue is perhaps that "mr brown's views . . . distort the truth. They are polemics dressed up as analysis, blaming the Government for all that he is unhappy with. He offers no alternatives or solutions. His piece is calculated to encourage cynicism and despondency, which can only make things worse, not better, for those he professes to sympathise with."
This makes Molly realize how stupid she has been! Molly has always seen mrbrown as a humorist who doesn't pretend to do political/partisan analysis. So Molly has always been wrong about mrbrown (since government officials couldn't possibly have misread mrbrown). He is actually writing in the style of political analysis. Oh my goodness! The dangers that lurk around!!!
And Molly never knew that mrbrown is as devious as to carefully craft articles designed to make people cynical about .... about whatever there is to be cynical about
Really, mrbrown, Molly will never read your blog again! You are probably the most evil person alive, next to Chee Soon Juan!
Really, the conditions of peasants don't change. (I hope I infer this correctly from Ms. Bhavani's words) But mrbrown wants people to be upset whereas the government wants to people to be happy with the same conditions! Thus, it is already very clear who has the best of intentions.
That's it, mrbrown. I hope you will resign from Today and stop corrupting the minds of the many people who queue up for free copies of the paper!
Looks like the mainstream media needs to be managed too, just like the Internet.
More on the crap that mrbrown wrote later. Perhaps.
Atypical Singaporean's unconstructive blog entry
mrsbudak's equally unconstructive criticisms
geekgeek's partisan words
Mr. Wang's good but partisan karma
Singabloodypore's bloody unconstructive and partisan entry
And, hopefully, XenoBoy's deconstructive criticisms...
- Someone gets lots of flak. Maybe someone (else?) "clarifies." Someone else continues to attack bloggers/irresponsible journalists. Someone gets flak. Someone ...
- Molly also expects a letter to ST from a certain Mr. de Souza soon.