Tags: confusion


mrbrown, Molly thinks you are the devil incarnate!

Fans of Molly can always thank the establishment (for which she reserves her unreserved support) for making come back from her blogging vacations...

Quote Right of Reply of the day:
"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 state people.

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 and penis length?

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 vilification clarification.

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* (Molly hopes she's got the gender of Bhavani correct; although Bhavani is open while mrbrown isn't, Molly still doesn't know what gender Bhavani is or what he looks like) that "it is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the Government. If a columnist presents himself as a non-political observer, while exploiting his access to the mass media to undermine the Government's standing with the electorate, then he is no longer a constructive critic, but a partisan player in politics."

[*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? If so, shouldn't the government be condemning the Straits Times for its pro-PAP slant during the elections?

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 (though what's wrong with cynicism?)!

Really, mrbrown, Molly will never read your blog again! You are probably the most evil person alive, next to Chee Soon Juan! How could you make things worse for people by telling them the truth when the gahmen works so hard at ... How could you worsen things for pathetic peasants like Molly when the government works hard at making sure that we remain optimistic and happy despite our conditions!

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.

He Stress, You Stress, I’m Stressed

It is not that Molly wants to behave like a bimbo again, but she really wonders what a good news station like Channel NewsAsia is doing with an article with a title that goes “PM Lee hopes Spore's good economic momentum will continue into 2006.” What hopes? Who doesn’t hope the good economic momentum will continue until the elections 2006? Of course everyone hopes that the good economic momentum if it’s there in the first place will continue. Is this is very newsworthy? Or is it a bad title for a news article? But CNA is a good, world-class, responsible station, isn’t it?

Molly thinks PM Lee’s speech is so much more inspiring: “. . .Bonuses are reasonable, there are some wage increases. So I hope that it would be sustained, it shows that we are doing the right thing, we are in very volatile times, if we can maintain five percent growth we will be doing alright." And if we can’t? Can we? Oh sorry, Molly is being too nosey.

Look at how artistic the news article is though. First, it says:
“Mr Lee stressed that one of the key factors that would determine Singapore's sustained economic growth would be its continued efforts at skills upgrading and restructuring.”

One sentence later, the article goes:
“He stressed that one of the key factors that would sustain Singapore's economic growth was continued efforts at skills upgrading and job restructuring.”

The structure of the article itself embodies the emphasis. Repetition. Impressive, isn’t it? At first Molly thought that her eyesight had failed, but she was wrong. Ah, the sort of things bimbos do…

Molly even thought that the idea that economic growth requires skills upgrading and job restructuring sounds very familiar. Did she hear the same thing before a couple of years ago? My, my… Look at Molly’s silliness. Of course not! It’s News! And it helps to be in the news for whatever reasons or no reason at all. When the Star Awards comes, starts want to be in the news. When elections come, politicians... Sorry, sorry... Molly has digressed.

In any case, it is good (since we are talking about the new economy, skills upgrading and all) that the CNA is getting pretty innovative. For instance, in yesterday’s news, we were given a nice little riddle to solve.

An article says that:

“12% of Singapore employers to increase hiring
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of 641 employers across all sectors shows 12 percent saying they will be hiring more people.
Three percent expect decreases in their workforces, while 77 percent do not expect changes in their staffing level.”

Wow, that means, we don’t have to worry about being retrenched because of the pressing need for restructuring. There will always be more and more jobs. The last time Molly heard, taxi companies want more taxi drivers. But I don’t know how reliable this rumor is, so please don’t get rejoice too early.

Anyway, as Atypical Singaporean asks:

“Hold on.

100%-77%-3%-12%= 8%

What happened to the 8% remaining? Going out of business?”

Very good riddle, isn’t it?

Actually, Molly has an embarrassing question. Forgive the bimbo, please. The question is regarding another claim: “This means a net employment outlook of +9 percent.” What does this mean? Really, the CNA people should know that one of its regular readers is a bimbo and doesn’t make connections all that well. Can some kind soul please tell Molly what that means?

Regardless of Molly’s question, the good article offers other nice statistics:

“Thirteen percent of employers surveyed in these industries [finance, insurance and real estate] say they are optimistic about hiring beginning next year. 

Although the number in this group has dipped by 8 percentage points over a quarterly period, it remains the strongest among all the employers surveyed.”

In other words, in the finance, insurance and real estate industries, fewer employers are going to employ people. How sad. Sorry, I mean, how good it is that these sectors are still the strongest!

Then: “Employers in other sectors like public administration and education (12 percent), services (11 percent) and transportation and utilities (11 percent) are also confident of creating jobs.”

Oh yes! It’s true, I think we are going to have more taxi drivers and bus captains! More teachers too! And good old MOE. Being the ministry of education, it sure knows what statistics are about. Oh, sorry… no one said it’s MOE that’s employing teachers. Molly was being presumptuous.

But, my, my… The statistics are getting confusing. Molly’s headache’s coming back.

“The survey, however, showed that although employers across all sectors indicate they are likely to take in employees, this figure has actually dropped on a quarterly basis, by an average of 13 percentage points.”


Firstly, we are told that 12% of 641 employers (regardless of the sector) say they will employ more people.

Then, we are told that each sector, on average, has fewer employers intending to employ more people. So? Was Molly wrong to say that we don’t have to worry about retrenchment anymore? Was Molly wrong? Is it going to be more difficult competitive to find jobs than ever?

What’s going on? What? Help!! Molly is stressed! What’s going on?

So is the 12% figure in the title of the article a good or bad thing? My, my… Molly regrets sleeping in Statistics 1101. Molly really regrets…

Molly appeals to the media to bimbo-proof their articles. Please… Molly is a big fan.