WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN [till the next boo-boo]
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The nation-builder press, Dec 17, 2003

The above report says that Professor Tan Chorh Chuan will relinquish his post as director of medical services at the Health Ministry to take on the mantle of provost and deputy president at the National University of Singapore.

Below we recall what the "Sars fighter" did in March 2003.


The nation builder press, March 18 2003

$ingaporeans who read the above report by nation-builder Salma Khalik were doubly reassured by what Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, Director of Medical Services, had to say:

"We have taken all the measures that should be taken to contain this. The message is that $ingapore is safe. People should carry on with their lives as usual."

The report also said: "He added that there is no need to avoid crowded places or to don face masks."

The report's headline said: "Only one new case has surfaced here but numbers of those infected overseas rise..." The "me all-good no-bad syndrome."


The nation builder press, March 25 2003

In the end $ingapore reported 33 deaths from Sars.

"We don't need another hero."
- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, Dec 17 2003.

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The nation-builder press, Oct 30 2003

THE REPORT SAID: "$ingapore Airlines (SIA) has put the Sars nightmare behind it with a stunning return to profit as passengers flocked to the skies again... It's cost-cutting measures - including the controversial axing of nearly 600 staff - paid off handsomely, with the profit being three times more than some expectations."

The PAP calls itself a "people-first" government. You can take PM Goh Chok Tong's "word for it."


The nation-builder press, Oct 20 2003

THE REPORT SAID: "$ingapore Airlines cabin crew say that the recent wage cuts they suffered were small change compared to what they have been losing in allowances. These workers told Streats that the drastic drop in assignments and faster turnaround in overseas destinations have taken a big chunk out of their meal and flight allowances.

"A leading steward said that his basic salary is $1,800 a month. He joined SIA in 1992 and has been a leading steward for four years. Like the others, he was willing to speak only on condition of anonymity. 'The 7.5 per cent wage cut means I lose $135. But the meal allowance for a London trip can come up to more than $550 and if I don't get any such trips, I'm worse off,' he said."

People-first? And, by the way, why bother quoting a source who wants to speak "on condition of anonymity" when letter writers to any nation-builder press are not allowed to be anonymous? Why so quiet $ingapore?


The nation-builder press, Oct 28 2003

THE REPORT SAID: "When Mr Lim (Boon Heng, NTUC Secretary-General) mentioned the trend of companies retrenching while they were still profitable, he used the term 'pre-emptive strikes.' Some workers misunderstood this to mean that he was actually supporting such retrenchments."

So exactly, what do you mean, Mr Lim? Are you going to take SIA to task now?


The nation-builder press, Oct 12 1999 - People First Government


The nation-builder press, Nov 3 2003

THE REPORT SAID: "SIA, which made a surprise $306 million profit in the quarter ending September, had laid off staff, cut pay and imposed unpaid leave. However, the return to profitability is no reason for SIA staff to expect their salaries to be restored, [SM Lee Kuan Yew] added. 'We should take our time, get back to cruising speed and maybe in two or three years, we will rethink our programme'."

Guess who has to tell SIA unions the news? Time to shoot the world's most expensive, million-dollar messenger again.

Note: When PAP ministers took a "pay-cut" this year, they also said it would last for only 12 months. In May, the PAP government announced a 10 % pay cut for ministers and top civil servants would start July 2003 and end June 2004.

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Click on the picture or visit http://www.bigomagazine.com/thisweek/reporter.html for a free pin-up.


At the bottom of the class again for press freedom in Asean is $ingapore at 144. Only Burma, Laos and Vietnam in the Southeast Asian grouping fared worst in the second world press freedom index.

The survey was released by international press watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or Reporters sans frontières (RSF) on Oct 20, 2003. This year, 166 countries were ranked, an increase of 27 countries from the first survey.

Despite the presence of "Asian values", Asia fared worst with eight countries in the bottom 10: North Korea (which ranks last at 166), Burma (164), Laos (163), China (161), Iran (160), Vietnam (159), Turkmenistan (158) and Bhutan (157).

RSF compiled the ranking by asking journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists to fill out a questionnaire evaluating respect for press freedom in a particular country. A number of countries were left out because of a lack of reliable, well-supported data.

In Southeast Asia, Cambodia (81), Thailand (82), Malaysia (104), Indonesia (110) and the Philippines (118) ranked higher than $ingapore (144).

The survey revealed that a country's respect for press freedom is not directly linked to its economic development as the top 50 ranked nations included countries that are among the poorest in the world, such as Benin (29), Timor-Leste (30) and Madagascar (46), and the bottom 50 with rich nations such as Bahrain (117) and $ingapore (144).

$ingapore practices nation-building "journalism" and is a strong advocate of Asian values.


The nation-builder press, Oct 11 2003 (Page A14)


The nation-builder press, Oct 11 2003 (Page A13)

Flip the ad over and right on top of the page (A13) is the above report. Who is the mysterious Kevin Tia mentioned in the report and why is he after PM Goh? Will the truth remain out there? Is it so difficult for a company with $379 million in profits to track down this story?


The nation-builder press, Oct 11 2003.

Why is there no mention about those 111 SPH staff who were retrenched June 30, 2003? The above report makes NO MENTION at all about SPH's retrenchments. Were the retrenchments necessary? SPH said the retrenchments would cost the company $7.2 million in severance payments, but the move would then save $5.7 million a year. Yet SPH made an obscene profit of $379 million. Lim Boon Heng, where are you?

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The nation-builder press, Oct 11 2003.

With 79 days to a spanking, brand-new 5% Goods and Services Tax, the nation-builders are working overtime to churn out those faithful, familiar, feel-good headlines. Why, just this past July, they said the SAME thing...

The nation-builder press, July 18 2003.

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US President George W Bush will be in $ingapore Oct 21. He may be given the opportunity to drink $ingapore's Newater. Newater is recycled from $ingaporeans' urine and faeces. Hopefully, he will give our piss a chance.

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The nation-builder press, Mar 27 2003

$ingaporeans braced themselves for MORE sacrifices when it was announced on March 27, 2003 that electricity rates were going up by a HUGE 17 per cent - because of the war in Iraq. According to the nation-builder press: "The new rates are for the April to June quarter. But consumers could face yet another hike as early as May if the Iraq war causes a drastic increase in world oil prices."


The nation-builder press, Sept 24 2002

In 2002, even with a drop of 70 per cent, $ingPower still made $412 million. The report said that while full-year earnings fell $188 million short of projections made the previous year, directors' renumeration jumped from $1.5 million to $2.5 million. What will $ingPower's directors' renumeration be when profits soared to $749 million in 2003?

The nation-builder press, Sept 30 2003

On Sept 30, 2003, it was reported that $ingapore Power posted a profit of $749 million for last year, more than double the $332 million it made the previous year. Who will benefit from this windfall?

For the record, $ingPower's directors are Ng Kee Choe (Senior Advisor to Chief Executive Officer of DBS Group), Quek Poh Huat (President of Temasek Holdings), RADM (Ret) Kwek Siew Jin (President and Director of $ingapore Power Limited), Timothy Chia Chee Ming (President of PAMA Group), Tan Guong Ching (Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs), George Allister Lefroy (former Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals), Eric Gwee Teck Hai (Chairman for the Public Transport Council), Alan Chan Heng Loon (Chief Executive Officer of $ingapore Press Holdings), Engelin Teh Guek Ngor (Senior Counsel and Managing Director of Engline Teh Practice), Keith Tay Ah Kee (Chairman and Managing Partner of KPMG Peat Marwick $ingapore from 1984 to 1993) and Ho Tian Yee (Executive Director of Pacific Asset Management).


The nation-builder press, Oct 2 2003.

Buried at the bottom of the page on Oct 2, 2003, it was reported that $ingPower would cut electricity rates by an average of 4.6 per cent "because of the drop in oil prices." Why not a 17 per cent cut?


The nation-builder press, Nov 1 2003

Buried at the bottom on Page H11 on Nov 1 is a report saying that electricity tariffs were down by an average of 3.5 per cent or 0.54 cents a kilowatt-hour. In other words, an average monthly saving of 55 cents for a one-room flat; $1.84 for a four-room flat and $2.31 for a five-room flat.


Asian Wall Street Journal, Sept 24 2003

$ingaporeans continue to make sacrifice after sacrifice for their million-dollar earning "servants."

- The young, restless and cynical Mirror Of Opinion, October 3 2003.


The nation-builder press, April 12 2003

The report said: "Twice a day, Madam Dillaram Ali and her teenage daughter make their way to a public toilet to bathe. Carrying a plastic bag containing a change of clothes and soap, they cross the road in front of their block, to the toilet in a neighbourhood coffeeshop.

"If it is occupied, they brush their teeth and wash their faces in the toilet at a nearby McDonald's. They do this because the water supply in their three-room Bukit Panjang flat has been reduced to a trickle and the electricity disconnected. They have been living without electricity for the last two months...

"(Madam Dillaram) has not paid her utilities bill for over a year and owes nearly $6,000. If she does not pay soon, her water supply will be cut off."

The nation-builder press, May 1 2003

The report said the $20 is a one-time discount for 267,105 families living in one- to three-room HDB flats. The report noted that in February 2003, 16,000 homes did not pay their utilities bill for the past three months. Power is cut off if a bill is not paid for five months.

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The nation-builder press, Sept 15 2003


The nation-builder press, Sept 16 2003.


The nation-builder press, Sept 21 2003. The small headline says: "The Trade And Industry Minister tells... how it all suddenly fell apart."

The Economist, Sept 20-26 2003, cover story explains why Cancun failed.

Coldplay's Chris Martin (left) and General George Yeo.


Did you know that Coldplay were at the recently collapsed World Trade Organization talks in Cancun [Sept 10-14]? Coldplay frontman Chris Martin brought a surprise element of glitz to an otherwise staid gathering when he delivered the so-called "Big Noise" petition calling for fairer trade policies.

$ingapore’s general, George Yeo, was at the WTO too and he was reported in the nation-builder press as being disappointed that he could not convince the poor countries to accept the WTO’s terms.

The Big Noise petition, with more than three million signatures, was developed by London-based charity Oxfam. Artists such as U2 frontman Bono, Beth Orton, Bonnie Raitt, Buena Vista Social Club singer Ibrahim Ferrer, London mayor Ken Livingstone, South African former Archbishop Desmond Tutu and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan have also joined Martin in backing the petition and Oxfam's "Make Trade Fair" campaign.

"We're here to raise awareness of fair trade practices, because millions of people around the world are suffering because of policies like export subsidies," Martin tells Billboard.com. "Trade, war and the lack of education are the biggest causes of poverty and we'd like to do what we can to improve the situation."

Martin said Europe and America were hypocrites when it came to trade. "When you hear George Bush and Tony Blair talk about free trade, it sounds like a great idea," he said. "But it's just not true -- their markets are rigged against poor countries."

The singer has also visited the people he campaigns on behalf of, meeting the campesinos in the town of Santa Isabel Tepetzala in the Mexican farm belt. In 2002, he traveled to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to see how the country's citizens are affected by the current trade rules

He said he was happy to get involved in the campaign when Oxfam first approached him two years ago. "It seemed so much better than just advertising shoes," he said. "I also support Amnesty International, but I guess I back what most intelligent people would support anyway." $ingapore is the biggest investor in Burma which continues to hold opposition leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi under arrest.

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