Subject: Singapore ranked 70 in world best place, complete government media blackout
The Singapore media has imposed a complete news blackout on Singapore's
pathetic performance on the annual Quality of Life index compiled by
influential lifestyle magazine - "International Living" based in Ireland.
Though the rankings were released a week ago and circulated widely in
Singapore's blogsphere and forums, the mainstream media chose to turn a
blind eye to it.
Neither did any leaders from the ruling party, which is obsessed with
Singapore's international rankings in everything, respond to it.
However, when Singapore was ranked as the third least corrupted nation in
the world by Transparency International (TI) last year, it was splashed all
over the front pages of the major papers on the very same day and they
continue to harp on it ad nausem for the rest of the week as if they have
become the mouthpieces of TI.
Similarly, the news of Singapore being ranked as the most competitive
economy in the world by Political and Economic Risk Consultancy group (PERC)
also made the headlines with the mainstream media lavishing generous praise
on the ruling party leaders to justify (subtly) their astronomical salaries.
The findings of "International Living" were given extensive publicity by the
major newspapers in the world because of its significance. While there are
many international studies on economic indicators such as GDP, GNP and Gini
Coefficient, this is the only study which actually measures the quality of
life among citizens living in 194 countries around the world, a rather
subjective and soft indicator.
The 5 most desirable places to live in the world are France, Australia,
Switzerland, Germany and New Zealand. Singapore is ranked below Japan, South
Korea and Taiwan among Asian countries and the lowest among the thirty most
developed economies in the world below developing countries such as
Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia which does not reflect well on the performance
of the ruling party whose leaders have always boasted unshamedly about their
"world class" talents deserving the highest pay in the world.
The Singapore media has a propensity to publish only news which make its
political masters look good and censor those unpalatable truths which may
While it may be relatively successful in the past, it is impossible to
practice that kind of gutter journalism in today's borderless world made
possible by the internet.
Their continued one-sided editorial policy slanted towards the ruling party
will probaby hurt them in the long run by diminishing both its credibility
It is unlikely that the spin doctors at SPH remain unaware of this damaging
report by "International Living". Perhaps they are brainstorming of ways to
spin the study in a manner which favors the ruling party but even that may
be an uphill task for them - how can one sugar-coat Singapore's 70th ranking
in terms of quality of living to present to an citizenry increasingly
flustered, peeved and antagonized by the ruling party's policies?
Perhaps in a few months' time, long after the findings fade away from public
consciousness, we will have one minister stepping forward to denounce it as
quite "divorced fro reality" like what Law Minister Shanmugam said about the
Singapore media's 133th ranking in press freedom by Reporters without
Borders last year.