(Unpublished - Jul 9, 2008)
I refer to Syu Ying Kwok's letter 'Five years? MM Lee's estimate was optimistic' (ST, Jul 8).
Syu made a comment about opposition politician Tan Lead Shake's “tragic event in his family” and referred to Tan having contested in the last three elections, in which a small percentage of voters are alleged by Syu to have “little consideration of his credentials or abilities”.
The irrelevant and utterly insensitive statement should not have made its way on a newspaper which prides itself on integrity and credibility.
Tan has been wrongfully discredited as a politician, and audaciously insulted as a human being.
We have been engulfed with the rhetoric of vigilance and complacency in light of Mas Selamat's escape. However, it is completely incomprehensible such comments are published.
While praises and soft-soaping of the establishment are tolerable in the mainstream press, the media should exercise some responsibility when conveying messages that wrongfully discredit or insult individuals.
If such decisions and actions are meant for “nation-building”, a role tagged to the press by the government on many an occasion, it is time to reconsider whether there is a justification for the publication of irrelevant, tactless and offensive material that misrepresent individuals. Nation-building should not be committed on the destruction of persons who constitute the nation.
It is tolerable for the press to be conservative and government-friendly, but it is very bewildering and disgusting such comments are published.
Ho Chi Sam