Time for the curtains to come down on SPH media business has arrived

There is a time for everything under heaven and the time for the curtains to come down on SPH media business has, unfortunately, arrived.

SPH media businesses have seen better days and the conditions and relevance for its existence are fast disappearing. Straits Times has been around for over 150 years and since our independence, the late Minister Mentor had recognised early that it is a very powerful tool to help his government in nation building by singing government tunes but what choices did the people have anyway? SPH was a monopoly business, media control was tight and there was no internet then.

I put the blame of the declining SPH media business squarely on the pap government and its business model. There is no question that it has always been a pap government mouthpiece, a propaganda sheet as a rule of thumb. Why should modern day thinking and informed people waste money, energy and time reading propaganda?

Next, the corporate world is harsh place. Being a monopoly, questions regarding remuneration for its top management, although approved by the shareholders, is once again under brighter spotlight. In view of years of declining advertising revenues, declining readership and rounds of retrenchment, are their very high salaries justified? It is something worth pondering too.

I have read that the government will fund the new spin-off not for profit entity. I disagree with the decision. Let me explain.

Does the saying “why throw good money after bad rubbish” sounds familiar? In better times, shareholders, staff, management and its directors were well rewarded and now, the government has agreed to help fund its not for profit entity continued existence.

Over time when profits is no longer the key performance index and driving force, its sense of mission, purpose, motivation of the staff and editorial independence and integrity, contents and standards etc must all suffer. What’s worse, this not for profit entity is likely to be beholden to whoever financially supports it.
This is all human nature and it cannot be avoided. We only kid ourselves if we believe otherwise. Despite much unwillingness, I would prefer to let SPH’s print media business go and if time and conditions are right in the future, we can then consider starting another more credible, more objective, more balance and lesser politically driven newspaper but for now, let it go and don’t prolong the agony.

Government funding of a not for profit newspaper is privatising the benefits and socialising the costs. It is a very irresponsible way of wasting our citizens’ taxes. It will be a very unhealthy path to embark.

To those suckers and you know who you are, what do you think or you still die die prefer to suck than to think?



Simon Lim




15 Responses to “Time for the curtains to come down on SPH media business has arrived”

  • Stop. Think!:

    It is worth repeating and emphasizing:

    A loss-making asset can be worth billions. This media business asset belongs to the shareholders, not the CEO and not the Chairman.

    Shareholders must demand a public global sale of this asset. A monopoly media business is worth billions.

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  • #06-195 Old Monkey:

    Even all those free papers like TODAY also closed shop. It’s only a matter of time for all these traditional media.

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  • mike:

    Yes, SPH can close down.
    Stop using tax payer moneies to subsidize losses of SPH.
    Fire the CEO for incompetence and save million dollars.
    All SPH reporters can just lost their job an sign up to be hawkers.
    Long time not reading SPH news already.

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  • oxygen:

    NO MEDIA SELLS “NEWS”, they all sell “sensationalism” or propaganda or both. Fukushima nuclear disaster happened on 11 March 2011 – 10 days later, what is the “news” value to readers THEN who already been “notified” of event happening prior?

    And it is still “news” in recent weeks? Like this one?

    Fukushima: Japan approves releasing wastewater into ocean

    Does this “news” gets the attention it got on 11 March 2011?

    Yet even print media gone digital are asking for “subscription” these days, so peasants are asked to pay them to be fed SLANTED news, sensationalism and/or propaganda?

    In my opinion, tried as hard as they are of subscription or paid media publishing of sensations or/and propaganda, it is the route of SURE death and cremation – LIKE IT OR NOT.

    Those who go faster to mortality end will be the ones without “editorial integrity” – be that online or print.


    Because peasants got AMPLE alternative read of the same ” NO news”, sensationalism and propaganda REAL TIME too. Peasants also know that those without editorial integrity must be the same breed as prost*tutes, spreading their legs as far apart as possible of welcoming CUSTOMERS giving their readers STDs.

    Who is paying to receive STDs from ANY contaminated source when it is also free in the social media?

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  • Billy ma:

    More than 10yrs ago, I called SPH hotline to request to terminate my ST subscription (after almost 20 yrs of having my newspaper delivered to my door step), the operator whom I made the request sounds like she was used to such calls.

    No surprise really.

    There’s zero doubt that ST is a PAP newspaper & its loud mouthpiece.

    How can every PAP policy be 100%?
    But that’s how ST sell the news for PAP.
    How can a government never made any mistake.
    But that’s how ST portraits PAP.

    How can glaring errors committed by PAP ministers be ignored.
    But that’s how ST chose to cover up such incidents.

    So any normal, logical, & rational person would & should be disgusted with such behaviour from a so called national newspaper.
    It’s beyond insulting to the people & great shame to the nation.

    Of course, even now there’re still a majority who thinks everything is OK & things should continue as it.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    When the press freedom rating from 150 drops to 160, do you think advertisers would like to be associated with it?

    Even when our MSM was at 150 rating, advertisers already getting far away from this media. No one wants to be a party with a liar.

    “.. let it go and don’t prolong the agony.” and save taxpayers’ money. Further it also save some trees.

    Sorry for puppy, bird and other pets owners, look for something else for your pets’ poos.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    @ but for now, let it go and don’t prolong the agony.

    Easier said but an example opps still failed to capture 40% of seats. Yet year after year, the fight goes on. Why not throw in the towels ?

    Just leave it to the big boys and girls.

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  • Asd:

    I think people had enough of this controlled agenda fake news company run by communist party

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  • Ah gai:

    Only look like a real diamond.but it’s worthless.
    A worthless diamond.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Communists and propaganda are synonymous. To think the government will ‘give up’ its flagship mouthpiece is not credible.

    What will actually happen is the Shit Times will be re-branded and sold as a free newspaper but actually costs are covered using your CPF money.

    So do not be deceived by all this wayang. Nothing will change. Only your money will be taken out of the back pocket instead of the front to pay for it.

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP mandate strong
    @ Simon Lim

    BOTH OF YOU GOT IT WRONG on these utterances.

    Simon Lim: but for now, let it go and don’t prolong the agony.


    PAP mandate strong: Just leave it to the big boys and girls

    Not so simple – this is NOT AhTiong Land of thugs law or LEE-jiapore Disneyland of carnival festivity joy of doing what is convenient, never mind what the peasants think.

    As an international trade/ global commercial hub, LEE-jiapore must follow English/Australian corporate law and SPH is listed on SGX must comply with listing rules and relevant corporate law applications.

    That means forward restructuring still has to comply with the legal mandates/restrictions found in the case law precedent known as the Foss v Harbottle rule (and its exception of minority shareholders protection) now codified in various Commonwealth statutory law applications ranging from UK, Australia, HK, Canada, LEE-jiapore, Malaysia, India, New Zealand etc etc.

    Foss v Harbottle

    If there is enough dissenting shareholders, of at least a majority, object to the restructuring proposal, it can still be blocked.

    Those who bought SPH must know or taken to know that when they bought the shares in SPH Limited, they are or have bought into a ‘POLITICAL’ stock (just like Malaysian CLOB shares I bought during the heydays of Mahathir days and I got badly burnt there as a learning lesson) with certain implications of its risks and potential return profile embedded.

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  • RunSilentRunDeep:

    Gahmen’s commitment to support the ‘not-for-profit’ core of sph only confirms all along that the msm here is pappy’s version of Pravda/TASS (Russia) and Xinhua News Agency (China).

    So now that pappy has openly admitted using taxpayers’ money to subsidise its propaganda wing, can the public at least be given free copies of chiak pau, berita hairan and the shitty times?

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP mandate strong

    LAW MINISTER, K. Shanmugam has come out to say basically the same thing of legal relevance.

    oxygen: As an international trade/ global commercial hub, LEE-jiapore must follow English/Australian corporate law and SPH is listed on SGX must comply with listing rules and relevant corporate law applications.

    It is not a simple matter of

    PAP mandate strong: Just leave it to the big boys and girls.

    Shanmugam said these words according to Yahoo source.

    K. Shanmugam:Mr Ng’s reaction and the way he answered the question… was very unfortunate…His outburst can be described in stronger terms. But I want to be careful and understated, because SPH is a listed company (with) shareholders, management, and I need to be careful,…..

    Noticed that Shanmugam “careful and understated” words include “very unfortunate”.

    K. Shanmugam is DEAD right – it comes back to CORPORATE LAW APPLICATIONS with shareholders rights embedded and its implications of SPH listed entity – not a privately owned enterprise.

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  • oxygen:

    @ PAP mandate strong.

    Shanmugam also touched on governments supporting the media industry, such as in France and AUSTRALIA, saying that “you have no choice if you want high-quality journalism”.

    Law Minister :It is important to maintain public trust in the media……If the media is not trusted, it would inevitably lead to a government and political leadership that is not trusted…Then, we are all finished if that happens.


    And I say – bottoms up for liberal democratic values and a hard slap on dictatorship arrogance of nothing of substance.

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  • Bastardo degenerado:

    There is a conflict of interest in funding journalists who are beholden to MCI and ensuring editorial independence of the newspaper.

    Already without direct MCI funding, the newspaper is seen as a government publication.

    Of course, a controlled newspaper can help in opinion management, perpetuating images and narratives of efficiency, expertise and love of the citizenry.

    Shamugam has said it right, we need quality newspaper.

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