It should be expected that any commentary sites that discussed socio-political issues will be labelled by people as an IB eventually. So, it finally happened to us. Thoughts of Real Singaporeans has been labelled as an IB site by TOC.
On one hand, it’s encouraging because it means that people are reading our stuffs and for a popular site like TOC to mention us, it’s kind of an honour. However, on the other hand, it means we are biased towards or against another political party. It wasn’t meant to be this way. There are different contributors and so there will be different stances. This is how we hope things can balance itself out naturally.
Sometimes we will be unhappy about the ruling party and sometimes, we will support them.
Hence, it is not helpful when a site is labelled an IB every time they disagree with the reader’s stance. I mean TOC won’t want people to call them opposition IBs just because they carry a huge number of anti-PAP articles, right?
What we should criticize or address are the points made in the article. Since Terry mentioned us, it’s fair that we react to TOC’s article on Nine reasons why the Parliament refuses to stream its session live for public consumption.
TOC said that full clips are not cut because the Government wants to “hide the poor attendance of the MPs” and to “hide the fact that speeches are pre-crafted and Ministers are sometimes caught without answers”. To support the argument, TOC posted, guess what, videos taken from Channel News Asia and Channel 5. LOOK AT THE LOGO ON THE VIDEOS. Seriously? Doesn’t it just prove the point that readers can see the two points TOC made on publicly available videos?
For his other points such as “giving state-backed media a monopoly”, “not to show the poor debating skills of the MPs or Ministers”, “to edit the flow of the debate”, “to not show the poor behaviour of PAP MPs in Parliament”, “to continue the myth that the bills are well-debated and due process in passing of law”, “MPs asking questions that should not be asked in the first place and Ministers not answering questions”; they all seem subjective to me.
I’m not saying that TOC is spouting falsehoods but it just seems like they are all conjectures of PAP having an agenda to fix the opposition with no facts backing them at all. Unless TOC can establish for sure these are the “hidden agendas” of PAP e.g. having a recording of PAP Ministers colluding among themselves, I’ll take them as opinions. It does not make it a fact just because an opinion sounds convincing. It just makes an opinion worth considering. We still need some supporting facts.
For the last point on “To not show that Opposition MPs are often prevented from replying to accusations/statements made by Ministers”, I guess one can count the number of times the Speaker cuts an opposition member, as compared to the number of times she cuts a PAP member. If she cuts opposition members many more times than she cuts PAP members, then maybe there’s a cause for bias. Mr Terry Xu seems to attend Parliament quite often, maybe he can count, put it in a table and show to the readers?
We have to thank TOC for trying its best to show alternative opinions but I’d prefer if TOC can show more facts. That would really be useful in pushing our arguments to a whole new level.
If not, wouldn’t it be the same and just as ironic if people start to say Workers’ Party members are fooling readers by posting only their own Parliament speeches and best performances on their Facebook pages? TOC only reports PAP in a negative light and WP in a positive light because it’s pro-WP?