Was looking for a 'neutral' source of news given what I have been learning about news media in the cultures lesson plus the recent 'heckling' incident that occurred during Roy Ngerng's protest at speaker's corner. I was reading up and trying to better understand this case but it was pretty annoying because on one hand we have state owned media and politicians going on and on about how villainous the protesters were and just emphasizing on that over and over again (reminds me of mr brown's podcast on bak chor mee long ago), while on the other hand we had ardent supports as well as Roy and HHH themselves talking like how everything is a grand conspiracy theory.
I understand neutrality is hard to achieve and these two sides both have very strong political motivations but goodness. Especially the conspiracy theories and the vocal netizens that support them. I cringe when I read some of the comments people make.
So I appreciate this article. Unfortunately Al Jazeera doesn't cover Singapore that much so we don't get the latest 'heckling' incident case so this will do. Al Jazeera is a news source that tends to be more neutral (at least it claims that is its goal, there are disputes, but I find this particular article good). Doesn't jump on either side too much but analyses the situation distantly, and also doesn't try to impose its foreign views on Singapore (some other foreign news like to talk about how terrible Singapore's freedom and liberty is without really understanding what it is like, what they say often sounds really strange to locals).
Personally, I have a some takeaways. Perhaps it is good that there is opposition and all that so it erodes complacency and makes the ruling party work hard. Things like transparency might be overlooked and there can be potential problems, and opposition to it can prompt the ruling party in the right direction. The current kind of opposition seems kind of...weak though. It doesn't matter if there wasn't any real 'heckling' at special needs children, there were still things that were not done right. The 'us against them' attitude at the expense of sensibility is not where I want to see this nation going. Nonetheless, it stirs up debate. A heck load of nonsense arguments from ardent supporters of both camps, but once in awhile you find something meaningful being raised.
The other thing, which I find unfortunate, is that sometimes the best policies are not the most popular because people do not understand the complexities of this world the full ramifications of what their 'obvious solutions' call for. Laws regarding minimum wage, migrant population, CPF, COE and ERP, these things don't have simple solutions. Yet people keep clamoring for change and talking about how they have the solutions. I don't think the government should be populist, and clearly the ruling party doesn't think so either and thats great. On the flip side though, there needs to be a balanced struck. The problem with unpopular solutions that work is that well...they make people unhappy. I'm not saying you go out of your way to make people happy because that is a recipe for disaster, but a nation of very unhappy people isn't the ideal kind of nation either.
So. Politics. Messy stuff. Not just power plays and all, but just how hard it is even if you have the purest of intentions. I guess that's why I'm not venturing there.
Additional read: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/opinion/more-opinion-stories/story/all-lose-lose-all-risk-if-political-provocateurs-win-2014061