Singapore Election 2011

Latest news and updates about Singapore's 14th GE

SDP will lose crucial votes due to misreporting by TNP

Posted by singaporege2011 on May 5, 2011

The Singapore Democratic Party is going to lose crucial votes in the coming polls on 7 May as a result of the misleading article by The New Paper (TNP) on 1 May which falsely insinuated, among other things that Dr Chee Soon Juan had attempted to lead a ‘protest march.’ The same lie was reported in the two Chinese tabloids.

Though the Straits Times carried an article the next day clarifying the matter in a way, it was inadequate as TNP editor Dominic Nathan said the paper ‘stand by the story’ which may cause lingering doubts in the minds of fence-sitters who have not made up their minds yet.

The loss in a few hundred votes is likely to affect results in closely fought contests like in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC where SDP is fielding arguably its strongest team.

The TNP article was skewed deliberately to portray the entire SDP in a negative light by linking it with Dr Chee’s ‘chequered past’. Singaporeans have been conditioned over the years by the PAP and state media to have a less than favorable perception of politicians who engage in ‘civil disobedience.

While Dr Chee has certainly toned down alot, the constant rehashing of his ‘misdeeds’ in the state media is likely to have an influence on the older generation of voters who are more conservative.

Some may be inclined to vote for the SDP, but may back out in the last minute out of irrational fear that the SDP may conduct ‘protest marches’ in the streets if elected to destabilize the country.

The PAP knows the innermost fears and insecurity of Singaporeans pretty well and have no qualms playing them up in order to serve its partisan interests.

The SDP team has done remarkably well in keeping a cool head and ignoring the baiting by TNP which will drag them into a meaningless slugfest only to benefit the PAP. However, the unfounded allegations cannot be allowed to go unrebutted just like that.

The online community has been most vocal in their support of SDP and Dr Chee with even neutrals joining in to lambast TNP for its unethical gutter journalism.

A Facebook page set up calling for the boycott of TNP has garnered more than 4,400 “likes” so far, an indication of how hated the tabloid has become. (read here)

Despite sparking a massive backlash and growing pressure to apologize, TNP has still refused to retract its story and apologize as it knows that doing so will only win sympathy votes for the SDP. Its real motive is simply to discredit the opposition in order to sway public opinion to the side of the PAP.

It’s time Singaporeans come together to send a strong deterrent message to SPH that such irresponsible misreporting is not tolerated and hit it at its pockets by boycotting not only TNP, but its major advertisers as well.

In the meantime, Singaporeans reading this can do their part by sharing with your neighbors, especially those who only rely on the mainstream media for news on what really happen. That’s the very least we can do for a party which is risking so much to speak up for us.

As for TNP, it’s time we consign it to the rubbish chute where it should long belong to.

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