Dr Mumbo

Lack of free press saves lives

Singapore satirical news site New Nation was pushing the boundaries of taste with this article that suggested that the headquarters of Singapore Press Holdings, publisher of the Straits Times, were in no danger of attack from terrorists because of the ST’s tame reporting.

ST post

The article reads in full:

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, security of newsrooms throughout the world have been spruced up to protect journalists who might otherwise become targets of violence by extremists who view the written word as a profane threat.

However, no extra security measures will be taken to ensure the Singapore Press Holdings building in Toa Payoh — the only building to house scores of reporters in Singapore as a result of monopolistic behaviour and a lack of a free press — to deter any attacks.

A police spokesperson, Zuo Jing Char, said: “We will not be securing the Singapore Press Holdings building in Toa Payoh with additional police presence. There appears to be no immediate threat or danger to the reporters there as there hasn’t been much pushing of boundaries in years in terms of reporting.”

“I doubt any radicals, be they religious, secular, public or governmental, will go through all that hassle to storm the premises and unleash their fury on reporters, who don’t even pose a threat as they haven’t been as questioning or hard-hitting as reporters elsewhere in the world.”

Staff of SPH have also said they do not feel threatened given the current climate of fear overseas in newsrooms.

Jin Ham Ji, a reporter said: “I doubt anybody wants to kill me. I have not exercised my freedom of speech in years. I spend my days rewriting press releases and attending government events and quoting civil service spokespeople.”

Locals also said that violence against members of the press in Singapore will definitely be overlooked because there is no point picking on the meek in the first place.

Jin Guai Lan, a local said: “This lack of a free press is really a blessing in disguise. It has helped save countless reporters’ lives through a lack of free expression.”

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