The Politicisation of Truth

Has Singapore transformed into a black hole? After declaring that the country is not ready for a minority PM (a de facto reserved premiership), Mr Heng Swee Keat (who will be deputy PM soon) declares Singapore must be “very focused on our industry transformation and looking at how we can create synergy”. ‘Transformation’ seems a key word. He also calls for diversity: “They [tech firms] have been able to assemble very diverse teams of people not just in terms of race, gender and age, but more importantly, in terms of their background experience…”

Given the liberal outlook he seems to present Mr Heng (unsurprisingly) does not call innovative tech firms a meritocracy.

Fascinatingly, he casts the government as an enabler that allows innovation to thrive:

“In our case, we are fortunate we are a single layer of government, and that allows decision making to be a lot faster…But we need to look at how our regulatory approaches need to change in order to enable this innovation to take place.”

[Take note of "regulatory approaches" there.]

“Instead of looking at government as a possible obstacle to change, I think government should be an important…enabler of change because at the end of it, all of us share a common objective of improving the lives of our people.”

[Why would he think there are people who view the government as an "obstacle to change"?]

And if the irony of Mr Heng (who perhaps has a sophisticated sense of humour) is not enough, here are some responses from those associated with the Tech sector (who clearly lack humour):

“Appeals against [political] directives can only be launched after the fact, first to the minister who issued the directive, and then to the High Court, a process that is likely to be time consuming and costly.

Expected to face little opposition in parliament where the ruling People’s Action Party enjoys an overwhelming majority, the new laws are likely to come into effect in the second half of this year.”

“Singapore, which ranks 151 out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 press freedom index, already has several legal tools to force content to be taken offline or blocked…”

“Still, the city-state also serves as the Asia-Pacific headquarters for many tech and social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Google. Facebook is also in the process of building a $1 billion data center in Singapore that is due to open in 2022.”

“While Facebook and Google declined to comment directly, a statement by the Asia Internet Coalition said, ‘Prescriptive legislation should not be the first solution in addressing what is a highly nuanced and complex issue.’”

‘We are also concerned that the proposed legislation gives the Singapore government full discretion over what is considered true or false,’ the statement added.

This is the truth of the matter: that elected officials are holders of public office and take on political appointments.

Politicians are not arbiters of what is true or false: specifically of criticisms levelled at the conduct of their work, the tarnish they bring to their office due to (for example) public feuds, and the policies they come up with.

How is it that candidates for political office and parties that present a manifesto during electoral campaigns have become arbiters of the truth?

This is the start of the politicisation of truth.

Sanjay Perera

*Writer, and founding editor of Philosophers for Change. The piece first appeared at Facebook. Further related posts: Lack of leadership and Blinded by The Dark. For some other kind of pieces: Kafkaville.


Singapore will manage economic cycles, and must stay focused on transformation

Facebook and Twitter worry over Singapore fake news laws

[Picture: Orange County Register].




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10 Responses to “The Politicisation of Truth”

  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Singapore THRIVES on politics of Racism & FEAR started by a Bastard Glorified for his Evil now dead and burning in Hell for slaughtering his people’s UNBORN through LEEgal ABORTION to a TUNE of 1,000,000 since 1974…

    Karma!!! is now Being showered upon the son and until and unless he returns all the Evil done through Goodness…it will REMAIN with the Owl paying a visit the last in 26-8-2017… two years is the TIMELINE…2019 August the day the Gates of Hell will OPEN!!!

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  • Harder Truths:

    Industry Transformation = More FT coming
    Diversity = More FT coming
    Enabler government = More FT coming
    Regulatory approaches = More FT coming
    Enable Innovation = More FT coming
    Appeals … time consuming and costly = More FT coming
    Legal tools to force content = CENSORED BY ORDER

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  • Peanut wages & Gorilla overhea:

    This finance minister wants synergy; the other potential PM talks existentialism: the summum bonum of their exegetic chatter is a 30% hike in our water price at home, when our good neighbors have been pumping river water into our reservoirs at 1¢ charge per 1000 gallons.

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  • oxygen:

    MONICA BAEY KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS when “public officials” becomes the ARBITER OF “TRUTH” AND “LAW”.

    Her privacy and modesty was violated – it seems – to be of triviality of consequences but in a place where privacy and identity has no value in law and law protection, some litigants CAN STRANGELY still sue successfully for defamation.

    Reputation or its fiction exists in a vacuum of privacy and identity?

    POFMA IS DIAM DIAM DIAM on this fake justice.


    The social media also know but SILENT AT THIS ODDITY.

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  • AristoCATs cant Handle d Truth:

    > SG ” is not ready for a minority PM”
    It is Fake News
    Just like JackNicholson – MIWs cant handle the Truth. . :(


    Remember the Ballot Box !

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  • Regime change is the solution:

    The real problem is that PAP cannot “handle” the WHOLE TRUTH. That is why I am voting for regime change and asking my family member and friends to do the same. “Ownself check ownself” is bullshit.

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  • Sanjay:
    GD Star Rating
  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Have “No FEAR” the OWL had hooted on 26-8-2019…

    Timeline: 2 years similar to the Fathers’ in 2015 when the Owl Hooted in 2013

    and…Heng had better not take over when the Gun-carriage roll out of the Istana

    His CONfirmation of Father & Son Racist statement: ” A Non-Chinese is NOT ready to be PM ” is a follow-through of the father & son evils and Karma will follow THROUGH for him too…the Stroke is JUST a Reminder

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    patriot of TUMASIK:
    Have “No FEAR” the OWL had hooted on 26-8-2019…

    Timeline: 2 years similar to the Fathers’ in 2015 when the Owl Hooted in 2013

    and…Heng had better not take over when the Gun-carriage roll out of the Istana

    His CONfirmation of Father & Son Racist statement: ” A Non-Chinese is NOT ready to be PM ” is a follow-through of the father & son evils and Karma will follow THROUGH for him too…the Stroke is JUST a Reminder

    CORRECTION: 26-8-2017

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  • LIONS:

    So,what is Truth?
    Truth is not LIE surely.
    How can PAPple who lie all the time be arbiter of the TRUTH?

    If i say LEE AH LONG is daft; it is true but to him,he may think otherwise.

    If i say GRC is unmeritocratic,those who prefer to ride on coat-tails to enter Parliament will say it is untrue.

    So,what is FAKE NEWS?



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